Crucial Discoveries from Our Q2 2023 Guest Experience Benchmark

27 Sep 2023 by Heather McCaw in Research and Reports

Effective business decisions rely on data, and the hospitality sector is no exception. Through our quarterly benchmark reports on guest experience data, we analyse millions of reviews to uncover worldwide and regional insights, empowering hoteliers to utilize guest experience data for benchmarking their individual properties, portfolios and brands.

To find all the reports, bookmark this page.

In this blog post, we delve into our most recent Q2 report, examining guest experience data with a special focus on the Global Review Index (GRI), review quantity, semantic analysis, and review engagement, uncovering significant insights that influence the direction of the industry.

Please note that in addition to the regional guest experience data sets, we have added two new datasets: City Hotel Ranking and City Benchmark.

In the City Hotel Ranking we name the top 20 5*, top 20 4*, and top 20 3* hotels in the following cities: New York, London, Dubai, Sydney, Cape Town, and Rio, according to their Global Review Index scores.

The City Benchmark is a chart of 50 of the globe’s iconic cities and destinations, with their average Global Review Index.

Now, for a summary of the main findings of this report:

 

Review Score Recovery Continues

Hotels, globally, managed to increase the Global Review Index by 1.0 points in Q2 2023 relative to Q2 2022, achieving a score of 85.5%. However, the GRI sits at 0.9 points lower than the pre-pandemic score of 86.4% in Q2 2019. Four and 5-star hotels showed the biggest improvements, both growing their GRI by 1.2 points, whereas 3-star hotels grew by 0.8 points.

Of the six regions, hotels in Asia Pacific earned the highest GRI, followed by Latin America & Caribbean region with the Middle East having the lowest GRI, followed by North America.

 

Globally, Review Volume Is Flying

Global review volume increased by 19.9% from Q2 2022 to Q2 2023, representing almost 500,000 incremental reviews of hotels in the data set. However, review volume was still below pre-pandemic Q2 2019 levels. Asia Pacific showed the highest growth rate, at 70.6%, followed by Africa at 23.4%. Review volume stayed relatively flat in Europe and North America.

 

Booking.com, Whilst Generating a Huge Percentage of Total Reviews, is Losing Some Market Share

Dominating once again, generating 39.2% of total reviews in the quarter, is Booking.com. However, the OTA lost 8.7 points in share relative to Q2 2022. Much of which were picked up by Google, who accounted for above 30% of review share, an increase of 5.0 points.

While Booking.com lost market share in every region, it maintained its dominance in Europe and in the Middle East. However, Google had a larger share than Booking.com in Latin America & Caribbean, Asia Pacific, and Africa. In North America, Expedia maintained a stronger foothold than in other regions.

 

Google Reigns with the Highest Average Review Score, With Booking.com’s Relatively Low Score a Growing Concern

Of the top five review sources, Google had the highest Source Index, at 86.2%, whereas Booking.com had the lowest Source Index, at 82.5%. Ctrip and Trip.com had higher indexes, but their share of reviews were only 2.5% and 2.1% respectively.

In the Middle East, Tripadvisor’s Source Index was unusually high relative to the other regions, whereas Booking.com’s was particularly low. In North America, Tripadvisor’s Source Index was only 79.0%, 5.0 points lower than the global average.

 

Room and Value Ratings Continue to Trail as Service Ratings Receive a Bump

The Value Index and Room Index continued to underperform relative to the other top Department Indexes on a global level. However, the Value Index improved by 2.7 points relative to Q2 2022, increasing to 84.2%. Meanwhile, the Room Index increased by a slight 0.3 points to 85.7% but was particularly low within the 3-star segment, at 79.1%. The Service Index increased by 1.4 points to 87.9%.

Despite its lower overall GRI, Department Indexes were significantly higher in the Middle East than in other regions, with a Service Index of 91.9%, Cleanliness Index of 91.7%, Room Index of 89.2%, and Value Index of 88.8%.

 

Hoteliers Respond to 61.6% of Reviews

At the global level, hoteliers responded to 61.6% of respondable reviews in Q2 2023, an increase of 3.6 points over Q2 2022. Positive reviews received a response rate of 63.5% and an average response time of 3.6 days, while negative reviews received a response rate of 53.7% and an average response time of 4.3 days.

Of the six regions, hotels in the Middle East responded to the highest proportion of reviews (76.5%), followed by hotels in Africa (73.8%). Hotels in North America responded to the lowest proportion (56.1%), followed by Latin America & Caribbean (56.5%).

 

A High Bar is Being Held in City Hotel Rankings, with a Top Score of 98.6%

In city hotel rankings, the 5-star Belmond Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro achieved the highest Global Review Index of all hotels in the six cities in the report, at 98.6%. The 18 on Kloof Guest House in Cape Town had the highest GRI of 4-star hotels, at 97.9%, with the Tintagel Guest House in Cape Town had the highest GRI of 3-star hotels, at 96.1%.

In Dubai and London, the bar was particularly high among 5-star hotels, with all 20 hotels in the top rankings in each city achieving a GRI of 94.0 or higher.

 

Understanding online reputation guest experience data is essential for your hotels as it offers invaluable insights into your guests, allowing you to make informed decisions and improve overall operations. By harnessing this data, hotels can enhance guest experiences, build a strong brand reputation, and drive bookings and guest loyalty.

To find the full Q2 Data Report, and all past and future reports, bookmark this page.